State Roundup: Legislative map moves forward; expanded Good Samaritan law proposed; tolls taking a toll

State Roundup: Legislative map moves forward; expanded Good Samaritan law proposed; tolls taking a toll

Greater Baltimore Committee President and CEO Donald Fry speaks at the group's 65 annual meeting in October of 2020. He is retiring in June 2022 after 20 years leading the organization. (Screenshot)

NO SURPRISES AS LEGISLATIVE MAP MOVES FORWARD: Maryland’s state senators and delegates are moving forward with a new map for their own districts for the next election, picking a map favored by Democratic leaders and rejecting a proposal backed by Gov. Larry Hogan. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Legislators and the public stated their concerns during the meeting. “While I know no plan is perfect I think, I know, the plan put forth by the legislative redistricting advisory commission in my opinion is a very, very good plan,” said Karl Aro, chair of the Legislative Redistricting Committee. Don Harrison/WMAR-TV.
  • The move to advance the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission proposal and leave the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission proposal in committee mirrors Democratic lawmakers’ strategy on congressional redistricting during a special session in December. Bennett Leckrone/Maryland Matters.

MORE PROTECTIONS UNDER GOOD SAMARITAN LAW EXPANSION: Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-Baltimore County) and House Economic Matters Chair Vanessa E. Atterbeary (D-Howard) are seeking to expand the Maryland Good Samaritan Law to increase that trust and change the course of the worsening public health crisis. The state’s current Good Samaritan Law protects people who are experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose, and those who seek or provide assistance for an overdose, from arrest or prosecution. Among other things, the new bill seeks to clarify that people suffering from an overdose are also protected from arrest or prosecution. Hannah Gaskill/Maryland Matters.

STATE ENVIRO CHIEF VOWS TO INCREASE INSPECTION STAFF: Maryland’s secretary of the environment pledged to raise staffing levels in parts of his department Tuesday following reports that documented issues with its inspections of drinking water systems and poultry farms. Christine Condon/The Baltimore Sun.

TOLLS TAKING A TOLL; LAWMAKERS WANT PENALTY WAIVER: Legislators want to waive toll penalties and give drivers payment options after the Maryland Transportation Authority paused toll collections during the pandemic. Drivers have reported receiving large monthly bills due to backlogged transactions and are unable to speak with an E-ZPass customer service call center agent. Mallory Sofastaii/WMAR-TV.

Hear from guest speakers about the climate and energy priorities for policy and regulation under consideration by the Maryland General Assembly during the Maryland Clean Energy Center’s Legislative Reception on Feb 17, 2022. Featured panels will discuss Energy & the Built Environment: Strategies Aimed at Addressing Climate Change and Innovation & Regulation: Shooting Toward Energy Targets in Maryland. Early Bird discounted tickets are on sale to attend this hybrid format event in-person or online. Prices increase to the standard registration rate on Friday, Jan 21.

FRANCHOT POLL SHOWS HIM IN PRIMARY LEAD: During a week when some of his Democratic opponents for governor are claiming they raised more money than he did in the past year, Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) is offering a reminder of why he may be so formidable in the June 28 primary. Franchot on Tuesday released a poll showing him with a clear lead against five of his Democratic primary opponents. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

GOV CANDIDATE SCHULZ REPORTS $1M IN THE BANK: Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Schulz, who stepped down from her cabinet position in the Hogan administration earlier this month, will report more than $1 million in the bank on Wednesday’s filing deadline, her campaign announced. Danielle Gaines and Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

LOOKING FOR COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS: Maryland Reporter is looking to publish more commentary and analysis on issues about state government and politics from all points of view – left, center and right. If you have an opinion or analysis piece you’d like to see published, contact

MD SENATORS SEEK TO REMOVE RACIST’s NAME FROM CHEVY CHASE CIRCLE: Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Ben Cardin of Maryland introduced legislation Tuesday that would remove a white-supremacist senator’s name from Chevy Chase Circle, in the exclusive, wealthy neighborhood he founded more than a century ago. Meagan Flynn/The Washington Post.

DON FRY RETIRING FROM GBC AFTER 2 DECADES AT HELM: Donald C. Fry, who has led the Greater Baltimore Committee for nearly two decades, said Wednesday that he plans to retire June 1 from the private-sector business advocacy group. Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.

PG EXTENDS EMERGENCY ORDER, MASK MANDATE TO MARCH 9: The Prince George’s County Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to extend the county’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, and its mask mandate for indoor public spaces, to March 9. Anna Gawel/WTOP-FM.

MO CO VAXX PASSPORT GETS HARSH RECEPTION: More than a dozen residents voiced strong opposition to a proposed Montgomery County vaccine passport for certain businesses Tuesday, while organizations representing businesses were concerned about logistics and the ability to enforce the measure. Steve Bohnel/Bethesda Beat.

FREDERICK COUNCIL OKs FUNDS FOR CLIMATE EFFORT: The Frederick County Council on Tuesday approved funding for a series of climate initiatives that will guide the county’s push to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Jack Hogan/The Frederick News Post.

DOORS SHUTTING ON DOLLAR HOUSE REVIVAL: Baltimore administrators panned City Council President Nick Mosby’s proposal for a revival of the Dollar House program, suggesting on Tuesday that it duplicates existing city services and doesn’t offer enough financial support for homebuyers. Emily Opilo/The Baltimore Sun.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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